Posts Tagged ‘ios’



OS: Android (also available on iOS)

Price: Free (supported by in-app purchases, unobtrusive ads)

I’ve always loved going to the zoo. The opportunity to see animals other than squirrels or my roommate’s cat has always been one I’ve jumped on. I’ve already been to my local zoo twice this year with several more trips planned. But sadly, these two trips were my first zoo trip of any kind in 3 years and my first trip to this zoo in particular in 8 years. I’m making 2014 the year of the zoo. I have plans not only to visit my local zoo several more times, I also have plans to do a sort of zoo road trip. From Grand Rapids (my hometown) to Louisville, Kentucky (where I have family) and any zoo in between.

I'm sure this zoo is "just for children" in the same way the My Little Pony reboot is "just for children." (image source:

I’m sure this zoo is “just for children” in the same way the My Little Pony reboot is “just for children.”
(image source:

Sadly, Disco Zoo is not a zoo that will be on this road trip. In fact, it’s not a real zoo at all. It’s a game! For your phone! That you probably have!

Pictured: Ubiquity (image source:

Pictured: Ubiquity
(image source:

In Disco Zoo you are tasked with running your own zoo. Congratulations! You are the proud owner of an empty zoo! So what do you do to fill your zoo with Earth’s finest creatures? You go rescue them yourself! There are 8 different regions/climates/eras to search for animals to fill your zoo: Farm, Outback, Savannah, Northern, Polar, Jungle, Jurassic, and Ice Age. Only the Farm is unlocked from the get-go. The others become available after your zoo meets certain size requirements. The animals at your zoo earn you coins, which are then used to fund your rescue expeditions for more animals. Rescues are performed in what, at first, looks like a cross between a match-3 and memory game. Each animal is represented by a pattern of 3 or 4 squares hidden under tiles on a 5×5 grid. Once you uncover all of that animal’s tiles, that animal is added to your zoo. For instance, the pig’s pattern is a 2×2 square, so once you uncover one pig tile, the other tiles are pretty close. You get 10 tries per rescue attempt to uncover as much as you can. Some tiles may contain coins or Discobux, the in-game virtual currency.

Pictured: More ubiquity.

Pictured: More ubiquity.

As you add animals to your zoo, they earn you more and more coins per minute. BUT! There’s a catch. Each group of animals has a sleep timer. They’ll only earn you coins if they’re awake. You’ll have to check in on them every once in a while and wake them up so they can continue entertaining your zoo patrons.

An obvious allegory to the drudges of real life. (image source:

An obvious allegory to the drudges of real life.
(image source:

What exactly, though, makes this a DISCO Zoo? Why the random disco dance parties of course! For a price starting at one Discobux, you can throw a disco party, which turns your whole zoo into Studio 54 (sans alcohol and hard drugs). During the disco party, a disco ball, flashing lights, and music permeate the area. The benefit to you, the owner, is that your animals will generate twice as many coins per minute. 1 Discobux gets you a 1-minute party, 10 Discobux gets you an hour, whereas 50 Discosmackers gets you 8 hours of dancin’ goodness! Also, starting a Disco Party will automatically wake up all your animals! Convenient!

The TOTALLY REAL AND EXISTING Unicorns are moneymakers during dance time.

The TOTALLY REAL AND EXISTING Unicorns are moneymakers during dance time.

This game is a load of fun and recommend it for anyone that… well… likes fun? While the Discobux are purchasable with real world money, the opportunity to earn bux in the game is plentiful. The ads pop up super rarely (I see one ad maybe once every two days) and are generally non-obtrusive. Give this app a look and build your majestic dancey zoo today!

Download on Google Play

Download on iTunes App Store

Thanks for reading!



OS: Android (also available on iOS)

Price: Free (supported by in-app purchases, no ads)




On January 6th, 2013 I had no idea what Doctor Who was. Two months, the loss of a job, and a Netflix subscription later, I embarked on a journey to watch all of Doctor Who. I marathoned 6 seasons in a week. Nowadays, barring the latest Christmas special, I’m all caught up. So, in my quest to become completely engrossed in the fandom of Doctor Who, I embarked on a mission to find some Doctor Who video game goodness! Surely there was a great Doctor Who game floating around out there!


Nothing. That is, until Doctor Who: Legacy was gifted to us from the wonderful people at Tiny Rebel Games and Seed Studio! Doctor Who: Legacy is a match-3 puzzle/RPG game tasking you with building a team of a Doctor of your choosing with up to 6 companions, ranging from the familiar (Amy Pond, River Song) to the… bit more obscure… (the kids Clara babysat).

The literal bottom of the barrel was scrapped early in development.

The literal bottom of the barrel was scrapped early in development.

Each Doctor and character has a color that corresponds to them. Match 3 or more of that color and each character using that color will do damage to your enemies (Daleks, Cybermen, etc). Pink refills health of course. This all plays into the strategy of how you build your team. Do you try to max out one color and do slower, but more damaging, attacks? Or do you vary it up for quicker, but weaker attacks?

On the left: Selecting the team to be sent to their doom. On the right: The Doctor pulling victory out of his ass again.

On the left: Selecting the team to be sent to their doom.
On the right: The Doctor pulling victory out of his ass again.

In typical RPG fashion, you gain XP to level up your characters, which of course makes them stronger. The cool thing is you can go back and play older episode to level up newer companions you unlock. This is useful if you don’t want to be stuck with the starting set the whole time (which I currently am… because I’m too lazy to go back to level up newer characters… shut up).

The starting set, in mid-attack. They're all-powerful gods in my game right now.

The starting set, in mid-attack. They’re all-powerful gods in my game right now.

Bottom line, this isn’t your typical match-3 game. The strategy it takes to succeed here is something you can’t get from Bejeweled or Candy Crush. Phooey on them! If you’re a Doctor Who fan with a smartphone, this is a no-brainer

Google Play




Thanks for reading!






OS: Android (also available on iOS)

Price: Free (supported by in-app purchases, somewhat intrusive ads)

Wheel of Fortune is such a simple game. Spin the wheel, say a letter, get paid. It’s a great concept and so easy, a grade-schooler can grasp the finer points of it!

And they did sometimes!

And they did sometimes!

This is why it was such a no-brainer for Zynga, purveyors of simple, no-brainer games to create their own take on Wheel of Fortune called What’s the Phrase?! (or WTP for short). WTP lets you connect with other random users and compete to be the first to solve a word puzzle. The person with the highest point total after 3 rounds is declared the winner! The puzzles are based in several categories. But these aren’t Pat Sajak’s categories! Some categories have a modern day take on them, like First World Problems, Video Games, and Things That Suck.

Do you think "Internet Memes" is itself a puzzle under "Things That Suck?"

Do you think “Internet Memes” is itself a puzzle under “Things That Suck?”

Some categories, like the aforementioned Video Games, are unlockable, using coins. Coins can be earned slowly via gameplay, or being that this is a free-to-play game, purchased straight-up with cold hard cash.

First World Problem puzzle: Wa_ted Re_l Money On _tupid Virtu_l _urren_y.

First World Problem puzzle: Wa_ted Re_l Money On _tupid Virtu_l _urren_y.

Of course, if you don’t want to play against the faceless masses of the internet, you can link your Facebook profile, and get embarrassed by that girl you had a crush on in college you haven’t talked to in years because you didn’t know the proper spelling of “The Berenstain Bears” when attempting to solve the puzzle.


"How could you not know that 'S____ _____ ___s' was 'Super Mario Bros?' I am SO glad I didn't date your dumb ass!"

“How could you not know that ‘S____ _____ ___s’ was ‘Super Mario Bros?’ I am SO glad I didn’t date your dumb ass!”

I do have some complaints about this game, that don’t really have anything to do with the gameplay itself. Namely, the ads. The first two articles I wrote for FDG Mobile featured no ads and very little ads, respectively. This one has ads that not only pop up between rounds and games, but on occasion, will cause the game to lock up (luckily not causing the phone to lock up). I’m not certain if this also happens with the iOS version but some other Android users, according to reviews in the Play Store, seem to be experiencing the same issues.

If you’re willing to take the chance with these ad bugs, then take What’s the Phrase for a spin for your free Wheel of Fortune fix!

G__gle Pla_ St__e 




Tha_k_ f_r Rea_i_g!

nimble quest


OS: Android (also available on iOS)

Price: Free (supported by in-app purchases, very limited ads)

The game of Snake is almost as old as the PC itself. Anyone who had to use a graphing calculator in high school should be familiar with Snake. It’s an easy to make game that has been replicated nearly as many times as Tetris. If you hadn’t played it on your calculator in class when you were supposed to be knocking out some algebraic equations, you either didn’t have a graphing calculator or you actually liked math class.

Many a student heard "Hey, get back to work!" while viewing this screen.

Many a student heard “Hey, get back to work!” while viewing this screen.

So how do you evolve a simple, classic game like Snake? Tetris reinvented itself with countless sequels. Tetris 2, Tetris Blast, Tetrisphere, Tetris Attack, and so on and so forth all brought something new to the Tetris table.


The Tetris table.

So who would jump at the chance to make Snake an everlasting and beloved gaming series? Constantly evolving and changing things up when things were getting stale? Anybody? Seriously, anyone want to take a shot at glory? Well, it seems many were content with leaving Snake in its very basic form. Sure, you may fancy up the graphics a bit, but it is essentially the same game. Like the HD remakes of our favorite Sony games or 3D re-releases of movies we’ve watched countless times, new graphics don’t essentially change the experience. Let’s say you own a house. The paint on the outside of it is royal blue. You decide to change it to sky blue. Yes, you’ve given the house a new coat of paint, but you haven’t changed anything on the inside and you still live in a blue house.

...with a blue little window and a blue Corvette...

…with a blue little window and a blue Corvette…

So in 2013, NimbleBit takes it upon themselves to do what no-one did for decades: take the game Snake and make something really awesome. How do you do that? NimbleBit says you take a whole Snake, add in a dash of RPG elements, a pinch of delightful retro graphics that everyone loves, melt in some buttery-smooth controls, bake in an iOS or Android dev unit for a while and you get: NIMBLE QUEST!

No actual snakes were harmed in the making of this game... that I know of.

No actual snakes were harmed in the making of this game… that I know of.

Controls are pretty basic. Swipe your finger in the direction you want your ever-growing team to move. You start off with one hero. As you progress through the game you can unlock additional heroes who will join your team and extend your hero train. The heroes will use their attacks to defeat spiders, skeletons, knights, and more as you move to avoid running into them and collect boost items and gems. If you are defeated, you must start back at the beginning, with one hero, but any heroes you have unlocked are available for you to choose to be the leader. Each hero has a different specialty allowing you to choose a hero to play as to suit your style. Among these are sweeping blade attacks, magic fireballs, bullets, arrows, and more. Assisting you are the many items you can pick up to boost your attack speed, freeze enemies, give you a protective shield, or a magnet to attract gems to you. You may also use NimbleBit’s currency (represented by large gold coins) used across their games to help you.


Frozen enemies and copious amounts of gems. Pictured: Success.

Gems are used to increase the effectiveness or duration of these boosts or they can be used to immediately level up one of your heroes. Each hero has 3 levels, each increasing a certain stat like attack speed or armor. Increasing these levels can be done without the use of gems, but it takes quite a long time, although the amount of gems needed is quite high as well.

Just like when you went to the bar last weekend, you will spend too much money here.

Just like when you went to the bar last weekend, you will spend too much money here.

This game is addicting. I haven’t played an Android game this addicting since I discovered… well, anything made by Kairosoft (if you’re familiar with any of their “_____ Story” games, you know what I mean). My only complaint is that on rare occasions your movement swipe will either not register or move you in a direction you didn’t intend to go in. The ads aren’t intrusive at all. Nothing will appear during gameplay or on the menus. The only thing that will pop up is a very rare full screen ad when going back to the character select screen after a death. Even then, it’s only for one of NimbleBit’s other games.

Bottom line: Like classic gameplay with a modern twist all at the low, low price of nothing? Check out Nimble Quest today, you Android or iPhone having gamer! The links below will bring you to the version of your choice!

Google Play (Android)

iTunes (iOS)

Also, check me out on Facebook or Twitter! I post more on Twitter, but articles get posted to Facebook… sooo… I don’t know how to end this…

Run away!

Run away!


pocket planes

OS (Operating System): Android (also available on iOS)

Price: Free (supported by in-app purchases, no ads)

Alrighty! Well, since the servers hosting my online coursework are down, I suddenly have some free time! Why not introduce Five Dollar Gamer Mobile?! No, I will not be selling you a smartphone. I don’t have the network capabilities. If I did, forget 4G, you’d be lucky to get -7G.

Our latest product!

Our latest product!

Rather, FDG Mobile will focus on smartphone games! Usually these will be games I’ve played before and rather than playing them blind for the blog like I do with the main series, I’ll just be picking out ones I like and enjoy (no negativity here!). Therefore, no score will be given afterwords. If it’s featured here, it means I liked it.

*-Even you, dear reader!

*-Even you, dear reader!

I’ve played a game in the past from Pocket Planes developer NimbleBit before. Tiny Tower was a tower building sim… kinda. It had nice, pixly graphics and a simple concept. Add floors, attract tennants and businesses, micro-manage them. Boom. Simple. What I really liked is it didn’t require your constant attention. You could go a week without playing it and you can pick up right where you left off. You wouldn’t be making additional money from your businesses since you need to restock them, but nothing would deteriorate. So I had high hopes going into Pocket Planes.

Pocket Planes tasks you with running and maintaining an airline. You buy planes (cargo, passenger, or a combo plane), color them how you wish, name the flight, choose destinations, and grow to become the #1 world airline! You start off by selecting your region. I chose the southwest United States, which gives you the 3 starting cities of San Diego, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. Phoenix! Exciting!

Destination: Grandma's house!

Destination: Grandma’s house!

Select the passengers and cargo you want to send to one of the other 2 cities you have available and build up enough profit to unlock other cities. Opening other cities allows you to expand your operations and attract more passengers and shipments. The further a destination, the bigger the payday. But you’ll need better planes to make longer flights. Or you can connect via other cities to reach your destination. For instance, you have a flight from San Francisco to Orlando. A better plane can make the flight in one shot, or a smaller plane might have to connect via Phoenix, Houston, and New Orleans before reaching Orlando. If this is the case, it might be wise to also include a passenger along this flight path. It’s a neat element of strategy that doesn’t require critical thinking, but it’s not exactly mindless tapping. A brain is still required to play.

Pictured: Minimum System Requirements

Pictured: Minimum System Requirements

As you grow your airline empire you’ll be able to unlock bigger and better planes and eventually take on overseas flights. I personally haven’t made it that far, but I’ve got nearly the entire U.S. on lockdown. You wanna fly from your hovel in Detroit to a grilled food convention in Denver? You have to go through Five Dollar Airlines! Your shanty in Cincinnati to your clown college in Portland? Five Dollar Airlines! Download this game and micromanage your airline today!

Google Play (Android) store link: Click Here!

iTunes Store (iOS): Click Here!

My Facebook: Click Here!

My Twitter: Click Here!

Thanks for reading!